Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: I am Nujood Ali Aged 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui

Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Pages: 176
Source: Personal Copy

Nujood, is an innocent little girl who stood up to the unknown and almost impossible. She may have lived in poverty, but poverty didn't make her unhappy. She was a very happy child until her world literally changed around her. While many young girls were in school and playing with children their own age, Nujood had a much different reality. Her father agreed to marry her to a man three times her age. Without preparation or warning, in a matter of weeks she was married, sent to live with her husbands family and she was repeatedly raped and beaten by her husband. Her mother-in-law had no sympathy for her, she tried to assist her son in molding the perfect wife. She was told by her mother-in-law and mother that she must endure. A wife does not question her husband. A woman does as she is told. If a man wants a successful marriage, he is warned to marry a nine year old. Nujood took measures into her own hands. She vowed to get divorced and return to her family, she wanted to take her niqab off and resume life as a ten year old. She left her house one morning to buy bread for her family, and never returned that evening. She searched for the local court house, and sought help. She stood in the crowded courthouse scared, frustrated, and determined. The initial reaction from the judge was shock. Once she was able convinced them of her situation, the court system promised to help her. This little memoir is eye opening, and shocking. A must read!

This memoir is simple, yet powerful. I must say that I think this should not only be categorized as a memoir, due to the simple language and age of the narrator, this memoir should also be characterized as Young Adult. The memoir is not an in depth account of her life, it lacks many details. However, the narrator is ten years old. I wouldn't say this book is poorly written, I think it is important to understand that this book was written from Nujood's perspective. As a ten year old, many details about her life were hidden from her. Many family secrets were not shared with her, and I think her innocence shines through when we understand that many family details are not known to her. When her sister and brother-in-law disappear, she is not aware of their affair. She has no idea what happened to them, she has no idea why her sister is so unhappy. Nujood is a little girl, and little girls are not burdened with secrets. Nujood was thrown into the role of wife. It appears that this is common in certain areas, and Nujood was determined, and courageous. A ten year old seeking a divorce was unheard of. Nujood played a very important role in woman's rights. She should be praised, and her story told. I encourage others to read this story.


  1. Oh my what a horrific and strange story! I would love to read this one and see what I make of it for myself, although just reading this review makes me incredibly angry! I can't imagine any ten year old going through something like this, and I applaud her for getting out and getting help. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention. It sounds like a heartbreaking story with a happy ending!

  2. My first thought when I read this book was that it was poorly written, but when I dug around a little bit, I discovered that it is a young adult book. It's a very powerful story.

  3. I have this on my TBR list, sounds like I need to read it sometime soon, but year in mind this is YA (since I don't read a lot of YA except dystopian).

  4. Your review has me wanting to read this! I cannot for the life of me imagine a 10 year old girl becoming a wife! Nujood sounds like a very brave girl and I am very interested in her story!

  5. I'm picking myself up a copy of this. What a sad read, but also one with a very important story. What a brave little girl to endure what she has. Thank you for the review.

  6. OH .. I feel so bad for her ... what a great, strong little girl she must be!

  7. A friend of mine from college the other day told me about this book that she was reading, and i was curious to know more about it and asked to borrow the book when she was done. It turns out this is the book that she was talking about. This book is a tear jerker and also very powerful, as a woman I couldnt be more proud of this young girl standing up for what she believed in, no matter what the cost!